Ensuring best practice on a dairy farm

Published 28 July 10

Proper training for new staff, whether students, trainee farm workers or Eastern European labour, is one of the best investments dairy farmers can make, according to DairyCo extension officer in the South West, Chris Coxon.

At a time of increasing pressure on dairy staff, caused by difficulties in recruiting domestic and foreign workers and rising labour costs, it has never been more important to ensure staff are well trained and can carry out the tasks required of them - especially if it's not something they do regularly.

DairyCo's Best practice on a dairy farm DVD can help farmers train new employees - as well as existing ones with knowledge gaps - from both the UK and abroad.

Chris says: "Often there are gaps in basic skills, but farmers find that work pressures don't allow time to fully explain tasks to their employees and with foreign workers there is often a language barrier to overcome.  This is where the DVD comes to the fore."

Asking a tractor driver to help with milking is a good example of when the DVD could be used, suggests Chris.  "A tractor driver might not have any experience of milking but using the DVD could help explain the milking routine and mastitis detection, saving time and giving the tractor driver a better understanding of what they are being asked to do."

Best practice on a dairy farm covers topics such as feeding, breeding, cattle health, stock handling, milking routine, mastitis detection, lameness and hoof care, medicine, machinery handling, and human health hazards.

The DVD is available in 12 languages.  These are English, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Welsh.

To order the Best practice on a dairy farm DVD email publications@dairyco.org.uk or call 02476 478702.